written by
Jason Wilmot

What is Growth Hacking? | The Hacktics' Guide to Growth Hacking | Part 3

10 min read

What is Growth Hacking? In the last blog piece we discussed the importance of Mapping our Conversions Events. Moreover, when we map out our conversions, we can start to understand how to use these Events to discover our ROI, segment our audiences and build automation into our marketing funnel.

Therefore, the aim of Part 3 of the Hacktics' Guide To Growth Hacking is to flesh out Tracking and how we use UTM tracking parameters to IDENTIFY which click(s) actually resulted in a conversion.

Furthermore, as stated in Part 1, at Hacktics we believe the Essential Skills of growth hacking to be:

  1. Funnel Architecture
  2. Conversion Mapping
  3. Tracking
  4. Data Feedback (Loops)
  5. Advanced Audience Segmentation.
  6. Report. Find patterns. Scale.
  7. Automation

The Secret to Growth Hacking...

As promised in Part 1 and 2, we're going to take the next red pill into the world of Growth Hacking. As I mentioned in Part 2, there are two core components to analyzing and optimizing just about any funnel:

1) Conversion Mapping, (which we discussed in the last blog) and now,

2) Tracking.

Put on those blue light blockers. Here we go.

UTM tracking parameters allow you track and IDENTIFY which click(s) actually resulted in a conversion.

What is Growth Hacking? | Essential Skill 3: Tracking Parameters

Let’s talk about UTMs.

Now before we dive headlong into what UTMs let me reiterate the point I made above:

UTM tracking parameters allow you track and IDENTIFY which click(s) actually resulted in a conversion event being fired - a request a quote, a demo, a download, a purchase.

Do you get that? Because that's about as important as it gets.

That means no more guessing how your inbound clicks are preforming. No more guessing on your best lead source. No more guessing on whether the almighty BOOST actually landed you some business.

We've moved on to the world of P R O O F.

When it comes to Clicks and Conversions, UTMs are the strings that connect these pillars.

What is Growth Hacking? It's using UTM Parameters
What is Growth Hacking? Well, it's certainly not guessing.

Your Traffic. And a new Habit.

Does your traffic come from emails? Facebook? Google Search? YouTube?

Awesome; do your traffic how you see fit.

Nonetheless, I would implore you with this piece of advice: Make it a habit to use UTMs on as many inbound links as possible.

If you've put in the effort to build an experience for a viewer on the other side of a click, you owe it to yourself or your team to measure the performance of each inbound click.

By doing this, it allows you to isolate your best streams, turn up the budget and spend into what is driving your conversions.

What are UTMs?

Using UTMs (Urchin Tracking Module) is a way of passing parameters (tracking data) into your Google Analytics.

UTMs allow you to pass through 5 layers of information: Source, Medium, Campaign, Content and Term/Keyword.

(If you don't know what that means, please see this architecture layout:

What is Growth Hacking? It's using UTMs
What is Growth Hacking? It's using UTM Tracking Parameters

[What is Growth Hacking? It's Tracking! Copy the Hacktics UTM Architecture, here]

So if I were promoting this blog post with Twitter Ads, my UTM would be something like this:


Medium=ads (I'm running an ad, this is not an organic click)




By using these UTMs, I am able to crack open my Google Analytics (I show you where to find for this in the Coggle link, above) and will be able to see a click's time on page, sessions and whether or not they actually fire any Goals and 'converted.'

UTMs = Split Testing

If you see my UTM [Term] above ^, you'll see that by using tracking parameters, it allows you to run split tests and different ad variations.

Meaning, not only can you measure your split test with the same ad platform, you can use the UTMs to track and compare multiple inbound sources against one another (assuming your using UTMs across your marketing efforts).


UTMs will help you identify your best split tests, your best ads, your best emails, your best campaigns, your best traffic, etc.

Read that again if it didn't make sense; Because that's the ticket to Growthville.

If you can track your split tests, then that means you find your winners.

If you can find winners then you can keep split testing those winning traffic sources all the way up to ROI Level: 9000.

"But certainly it can't be that straightforward?" you ask, incredulously .

"Well..." I respond, debonair-ly.

It is. UTMs are easy; They most certainly work if you used them correctly.

BUT...it's the setup and execution (and getting them to work correctly) - that's the real pain in the butt.

So, let me help you with that.

What is Growth Hacking? It's ROI 9000
What is Growth Hacking? It's tracking your split tests.

Why is Tracking So Important?

Have you, your clients, or your manager ever had these questions:

Where are my clicks coming from? Which channel - Facebook, YouTube, Google, Email, etc - is providing the best leads or buyers?

What is my real cost per lead/ acquisition?

What landing page is actually converting best with this traffic?

How many landing pages views did this campaign generate?

Where should I allocate more budget and energy next time?

If you use UTM tracking and conversion events you are well on your way to knowing the answers to these questions.

A key to growth hacking is to identify your conversions and then measuring the conversion rate of different traffic sources.

So, you're saying The Secret to Growth Hacking is Tracking?

Tracking and conversions definitely don't get the love they deserve, but at the end of the day this is key to growth hacking.

So, yep. That's the secret to growth hacking - you have to be able to track what's working and what's not.

The secret is identifying your conversions and then measuring the conversion rate of different traffic sources.

It's important to note that while UTMs are the glue that stick the click to the conversion - it's your diligence in reporting and finding patterns that will be the real key to growth.

Nonetheless, you won't be able to find these little nuggets of gold until you start using UTMs.

What is Growth Hacking? It's finding patterns in your tracking.

Where do I start?

Now that's a good question to ask.

My advice: Start simple by using a free tool like Google Campaign URL Builder.

Next, you could look into UTM tools (something like UTM.io).

Nonetheless, as you start to build more UTMs, you'll find the Campaign URL Builder is way too slow to create multiple links at once.

But start there first - it's more than enough to get started.

But UTMs take so long to make?

If you've reached this frustration, it's a good sign you're own your way to seeing the light. If you haven't started, let me save you some time (and frustration).

I ran into this problem of needing to generate and store hundreds of UTM tagged links.

I looked into UTM software tools, tried a few, but at the end of the day, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I just decided to make my own UTM generators. Here's why:

They're fully customizable, they're advanced, yet simplified, and... they're FREE using Google Sheets.

However, if you don't count yourself among those with endless time to learn the CONCATENATE, LOWER and SUBSTITUTE functions, I'd happily encourage you to enroll in the Hacktics Academy, where I will provide the following for you:

UTM generators for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Display, Google Search, LinkedIn, Email and Custom Short Links. I also provide an overview on how to copy my generators and adapt them to your needs.

Again, you can build your own FREE generators with Google sheets or I would invite you to save the hours and headache by joining the academy, copying my generators and learning how I use a well-refined nerd tool.

The Final Excuse: UTMs Are Ugly and Tacky.

Well of course they are.

If you're not familiar, UTMs are big, ugly, super long URLs in your search bar that unveil your super cool campaign naming conventions to the world.

So, I'd advise we hide the tackiness.

Unless you like showing the viewer:

YourAwesomeWebsite? /utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=ad&utm_campaign =blog_promo&utm_term= part_3&utm_content=ad_version_a-copy_b

I'd suggest you use a javascript via Google Tag Manager to simply mask these from the browser;

This allows you to gather the needed event tracking data without letting your viewer in on your oh-so-sophisticated TOP OF MID FUNNEL, TESTIMONIAL 2, OPT-IN-3, FINAL TOUCH VERSION 4 scheme to take over the world.

And, yes, I SHOW YOU HOW to deploy this code using Google Tag Manager in my e-course:

How to Build a TRACKABLE, Automated Sales Funnel...Without Having to Hire, or Be Held Captive By, A Tech Guru.

Conclusion: Tracking

As mentioned above, if you've put in the effort to build an experience for a viewer on the other side of a click, you owe it to yourself to understand the behavior of people once the get there based upon the source from which they're coming.

When you learn to use UTMs, you're able to track and identify which click(s) actually resulted in a conversion being fired.

Last, by looking under the hood in Google Analytics (and knowing where to look) you'll be able to isolate your best streams of converting traffic and spend more time, energy and budget on what's bringing growth to your soon-to-be global empire.

What is Growth Hacking? | Essential Skill 4: Data Feedback Loops

Here's a sneak peak at Part 4:

"What is Growth Hacking? It's knowing your Feedback Loops.

Let me ask you an honest question: What good is setting up funnel if you can’t analyze the data? If Facebook Analytics is the only analytics tool you’re using then I want to let you in on a hint: Of all software in your marketing stack, I cannot think of too many more powerful than the raw data of ... "

What is Growth Hacking? Hacktics Growth Hacking Academy Guide To Growth Hacking
What Is Growth Hacking? The Hacktics' Guide to Growth Hacking

Hacktics Growth Hacking

What is Hacktics?

Hacktics exists to help entrepreneurs, digital marketers and marketing teams build and automate data-rich marketing funnels. Built with a bottom-of-the-funnel-up mentality, Hacktics provides a framework and foundation for both the Growth Hacker and the growth hacking skill set required for today’s digital marketing.

Our role here at Hacktics is to provide an understanding and step-by-step implementation of these ‘technical’ components - and to help our students build a foundation of tracking and systems. With this base layer and framework in place, we then help our students build ROI-driven marketing and automation.

The Hacktics' E-Course on Building, Tracking and PROVING Conversions

Hacktics has announced an offering for their first online E-Course for digital marketers, marketing teams and online entrepreneurs entitled, "How To Build a TRACKABLE, Sales Funnel...Without Having to Hire, Or Be Held Hostage by, A Tech Guru."

After completing this e-course, students will be able to setup Tracking & Conversion systems and know where to find the evidence in Google Analytics. This course provides a blueprint and framework for building a trackable sales funnel and covers Facebook Ads, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, UTM Generators and even a "Tracking, Optimization and Conversions" Deliverables Checklist.

Enroll Now

Hacktics was founded by Jason Wilmot. He currently leads the Hacktics Academy, provides coaching and direct consulting. Jason is an entrepreneur, author, and a former Apple Distinguished Educator.

growth hacking academy growth hacking academy growth hacking tracking tracking conversions conversions facebook facebook google google youtube youtube automation automation retargeting retargeting growth hacker growth hacker hacktics hacktics what is growth hacking what is growth hacking utms